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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November 2nd in Queer History

Born this day

Luchino Visconti  (1906 – 1976) Italian  Italian Director

Italian theatre, opera and cinema director, as well as a screenwriter. He is notably known for his films The Leopard (1963) and Death in Venice (1971).

Visconti made no secret of his homosexuality. His last partner was the Austrian actor Helmut Berger, who played Martin in Visconti's film The Damned. Berger also appeared in Visconti's Ludwig in 1972 and Conversation Piece in 1974 along with Burt Lancaster. Other lovers included Franco Zeffirelli, who also worked as part of the crew (i.e. production design, assistant director, etc.) in a number of Visconti's films and theatrical productions.

John Burnside ( 1916 –  2008) US Inventor

The inventor of the teleidoscope, the darkfield kaleidoscope and the Symmetricon. Because he rediscovered the math behind kaleidoscope optics, for decades, every maker of optically correct kaleidoscopes sold in the US paid him royalties. He was the partner of Harry Hay for 40 years, from 1962 until Hay's death in 2002.

Casey Donovan (1943 – 1987) US Porn

American male pornographic actor of the 1970s and 1980s, appearing primarily in adult films and videos catering to gay male audiences.

Michelle Cliff  (1946 – ) Jamaican / US  Author / Poet / Literary Critic

Jamaican-American author whose notable works include No Telephone to Heaven, Abeng and Free Enterprise. As of 1999, Cliff was living with her partner, poet Adrienne Rich. The two have been partnered since 1976.

Michelle Carter (1948 - ) US
African American lesbian activist, who has won the prestigious Stonewall Award for her work.

KD Lang (1961 –  ) Canadian  Canadian Singer / Musician

Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances; hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine".
Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT-related news magazine The Advocate, has actively championed gay rights causes. She has performed and supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research.

David Brock (1962 –  )US  Journalist / Author

American journalist and author, the founder of the media watchdog group, Media Matters for America. Once a highly paid conservative political journalist, Brock later took a sharp turn to the left and became am "ex-conservative", and a Democratic political operative.

Jonas Gardell (1963 –  ) Swedish  Author / Playwright / Screenwriter / Comedian

Swedish novelist, playwright, screenwriter and comedian. More than 20 years after his first novel was published, Gardell is one of Sweden's most famous stand-up comedians and probably the country's most well-known gay man. His partner is the Finnish-Swedish-American writer and TV presenter Mark Levengood.

Tim Kirkman (1966 – )  US  Author / Director

Randy Harrison (1977 – )   US  Actor
American actor best known for his portrayal of Justin Taylor on the Showtime drama Queer as Folk. Harrison, who is openly gay, dated Advertising Age columnist Simon Dumenco from 2002 to 2008

Died this day

Dimitri Mitropoulos 1896 - 1960 Greek  

Greek conductor, pianist, and composer. Mitropoulos was noted as a champion of modern music, such as that by the members of the Second Viennese School. He wrote a number of pieces for orchestra and solo works for piano, and also arranged some of Johann Sebastian Bach's organ works for orchestra. In addition he was very influential in encouraging Leonard Bernstein's interest in conducting performances of Mahler's symphonic works. He also premiered and recorded a piano concerto of Ernst Krenek as soloist (available on CD), and works by composers in the U.S. such as Roger Sessions and Peter Mennin. In 1952 he commissioned American composer Philip Bezanson to write a piano concerto, which he premiered the following year.

Mitropoulos never married. He was "quietly known to be homosexual" and "felt no need for a cosmetic marriage". Among his relationships reportedly was one with Leonard Bernstein.

Pier Paolo Pasolini 1922 - 1975 Italian  Film Director, Cultural Icon - and Murder Victim

Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual. He demonstrated a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, but is best known for his work in film.
While openly gay from the very start of his career, Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies. Pasolini never saw himself as a "gay artist." Indeed, he explicitly rejected the assimilated gay middle-class he saw emerging just prior to his murder, apparently by a hustler.
in 1975. 

Henry Willson 1911 - 1978 US Actors’ Agent

American Hollywood talent agent who played a large role in popularizing the beefcake craze of the 1950s. He was known for his stable of young, attractive clients, including Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, Robert Wagner, Nick Adams, Guy Madison, Troy Donahue, Rory Calhoun, Clint Walker, Doug McClure, Ty Hardin, and Chad Everett.

David B Feinberg 1956 - 1994 US  Author, AIDS Activist

American writer and AIDS activist. In the early 1980s, he joined a gay men's writing group, eventually creating the character B. J. Rosenthal, a young gay man, much like Feinberg himself, who became the central character in virtually all of Feinberg's later writing. The novel Eighty-Sixed (1989) won Feinberg the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Fiction and the American Library Association Gay/Lesbian Award for Fiction.
Feinberg tested positive for HIV in 1987, and joined the activist organization ACT UP. In July 1994, however, failing health led him to take disability leave. That fall, he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital[disambiguation needed], where he died early in November at the age of 37.

Sodomy laws in history, November 2

1909 — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals reverses the vagrancy conviction of a man who had solicited a police officer for oral sex. It says a single immoral act does not constitute vagrancy.

1947 — In Chicago, the Humboldt Elementary School is investigated for widespread sodomy among the students.

1966 — The North Carolina Supreme Court rules that the state’s 1965 sodomy law revision that stated no penalty is controlled by another state law setting a maximum penalty of 10 years for crimes for which no penalty is set.

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